Curtains on eventful 15th Odisha Assembly 

By Subrat Das

Bhubaneswar: With four days left for announcement of results of the general elections, the state cabinet formally recommended to the Governor for dissolution of the outgoing assembly this evening. This was the last cabinet meeting of the present government headed by Naveen Patnaik. The new government will be formed by the party which will secure majority in the current elections.

The term of the fifteenth assembly, which was formed on May 25, 2014, is going to end soon as the counting of votes will begin on May 23. The present house had fifteen sessions during the last five years. The last session was over on February 8 last. During this brief session, the present government had presented Rs 56,921 crore vote-on-account for the first four months of the current financial year.

Naveen Patnaik-led BJD, which secured majority for the fourth consecutive term, had formed the government on May 21, 2014 and the new assembly was constituted on May 25. The BJD had occupied 117 seats in the 147-member assembly, while Congress won 16, BJP-10, CPM and Samata Kranti Dal one each. Two independents-Sanatan Mahakud from Champua and Umakanta Samantaray from Satyabadi had been elected to the House.

However, there were some changes in the strength of the parties towards the end of the session. Last year, Congress lost the Bijepur seat due to untimely death of sitting MLA Subal Sahu, who had won the seat thrice. The seat was wrested by BJD in the by-election as Subal’s widow Ritarani Sahu was fielded by the ruling party.

Similarly, Koraput MLA Krushna Chandra Sagaria, Jharsuguda legislator Nabakishore Das, his Salipur colleague Prakash Chandra Behera and Sundargarh MLA Jogesh Singh quit the party. On the other hand, Samata Kranti Dal MLA George Tirkey from Biramitrapur joined the Congress Party. BJP MLA from Rourkela Dilip Ray resigned from the MLAship.

Congress Legislature Party leader Narasingha Mishra had been recognised as Leader of Opposition in the assembly as his party had secured more than 10 percent of the total strength of the assembly. Though the party lost the required strength at the fag end of the House, he continued to enjoy the status.

The noteworthy event of the fifteenth assembly was the adoption of an unanimous resolution proposing the Centre to provide for 33 percent reservation of seats of the Parliament and the state legislatures for women.

The House had also passed resolution to name Jharsuguda airport after eminent freedom fighter Veer Surendra Sai, incorporation of the word “Ahimsa” (non-violence) in the Preamble of the Constitution and creation of a legislative council for Odisha. However, there has been not much progress towards creation of the proposed legislative council and incorporation of the word “Ahimsa” in the Preamble of the Constitution.

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